Satellite images released on Thursday by human rights organisation, Amnesty International, suggested that there was a wide scale destruction by Boko Haram insurgents in Baga, as a result of last week’s attack.
“In Baga, a densely populated town less than two square kilometres in size, approximately 620 structures were damaged or completely destroyed by fire.”
While, “in Doron Baga more than 3,100 structures were damaged or destroyed by fire affecting most of the 4 square kilometre town.”
Initial casualty figures resulting from the Baga attack were pegged at 2000, which Nigeria’s Defence Headquarters debunked and said was below 300.
However, Amnesty International said its new images provided “indisputable and shocking evidence” of the scale of the attack on the towns of Baga and Doron Baga by Boko Haram militants.
According to the organisation, “Before and after images of two neighbouring towns, Baga (160 kilometres from Maiduguri) and Doron Baga (also known as Doro Gowon, 2.5 km from Baga), taken on 2 and 7 January show the devastating effect of the attacks which left over 3,700 structures damaged or completely destroyed. Other nearby towns and villages were also attacked over this period.
“These detailed images show devastation of catastrophic proportions in two towns, one of which was almost wiped off the map in the space of four days,” said the Nigeria researcher for Amnesty International, Daniel Eyre.
Although Nigerian military attributed the mass exodus of residents from Baga to repeated attacks by the insurgents, Amnesty International further insisted last week’s attack was the “largest and most destructive” yet.